Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Nondues Revenue

Looking for fresh ideas for your association’s nondues revenue strategy? These articles can help.

It may be the most evergreen topic in the association world: nondues revenue. It’s been particularly critical over the last year, as many associations saw membership decline during the pandemic, and as traditional sources of nondues revenue—particularly in-person conferences—took a major hit.

To catch up on your reading on this key topic, start with this list from Associations Now and ASAE:

How to Find Nondues Revenue Sources in 2021. The recent GrowthZone AMS annual survey highlighted an important trend—membership is dropping, and nondues revenue sources are going to have to pick up the slack. Amy Gitchell, the firm’s senior marketing communications specialist, highlights ways associations are getting creative about revenue, including “contract work” such as renting out buildings and handling grant writing.

Five Associations That Landed Nondues Revenue in 2020. If you need out-of-the-box ideas for nondues revenue, this roundup from organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society and the Texas Medical Association should give you a few real-world thought-starters.

How Communications Teams Can Help Boost Nondues Revenue. In a 2019 report, Naylor Association Solutions uncovered potential for associations to raise revenue by leaning more on their communications teams, particularly through data. “Capturing as clean a data [set] as you can and getting some qualitative feedback from members, so you are delivering communications that your members want—that is how you will make those nondues revenue streams as effective as possible,” the firm’s Sarah Sain said.

Maximize Nondues Revenue by Optimizing Your Media Kit. MCI USA’s Brittany Shoul and Jeff Selway make the case that media kits should be more interactive, because they play a key role—introducing your brand to new and existing sponsors. “Your media kit needs to tell your association’s story in a way that buyers will find engaging,” they write. “Create content that understands your audience, communicates information about your products for them, and includes sales positioning.”

Grow Nondues Revenue With a Digital Platform Business. On a related note, Barry J. Barresi, CEO and founder of Association Ventures, argues that associations should build themselves out like platforms, along the lines of Uber and Airbnb. “Because associations have influence and central positioning within professional and industry ecosystems, they have great potential as platform leaders,” he writes.

Why Technology Can Help Small-Staff Associations Boost Nondues Revenue. A 2019 Community Brands report asserts that small associations are primed for generating nondues revenue simply by optimizing their digital offerings. One example? Job boards. “What will happen is the employers looking for candidates will pay them a premium to get in front of their niche audience,” said Dan Gaertner, then the firm’s executive vice president of membership solutions.

(Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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